Wednesday 23 July 2014


British Council English teaching reaches 120 young people from Belarus as part of two-year EU education programme 

Young Belarusians are being given the chance to better understand and connect with the EU through a new two-year education programme.

The Roots and Treetops project, which includes intensive English language training from the British Council, aims to enhance education and employment opportunities for 18 to 35 year olds from Belarus by improving their knowledge of the European Union and its languages.

Fully funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Goethe Institute in Minsk in partnership with the British Council and Alliance Française de Moldavie, the project looks to improve participant’s knowledge of English, French or German by at least two steps in the Common European Framework of Reference for Language, reaching at least level B2 by the end of the two years. 

The second part of the programme is focused on developing participants’ intercultural communication competencies, followed by moderated meetings with representatives of civil society, student and professional groups, including British Alumni Society, NGOs, academics, media, central and local government representatives.

The British Council has organised English language courses for 120 young people, whilst the French and German partners have organised respective language courses for 90 participants each. 

Those involved are currently undertaking an intensive language training course with teaching in Poland, as well as 160 hours of moderated online learning. 

It is hoped that the participants will use their learning experience to create both professional and personal contacts with their EU counterparts, as well as increase their knowledge and understanding in order to encourage other young people in Belarus to connect with the EU. 

Andy Williams, Director British Council Poland said: “We are delighted to be sharing our English language teaching expertise to help young Belarusians better understand and connect with the EU through the Roots and Treetops project. Using languages as a tool to help improve cultural understanding and openness is key to our work at the British Council and we hope that the benefits of this project will reach far and wide as those involved inspire other young people in the country to enhance their education and employment opportunities.”

The project culminates in a visit to Cardiff for 70 chosen participants in August this year, giving those involved the opportunity to familiarise themselves with British culture, civil society and political values. It includes a trip to London where participants will visit major British institutions such as the Houses of Parliament. 

This project will contribute towards the British Council EU strategy aiming to reach 100m young people by 2025 who will have benefitted from the British Council-inspired international experience.

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Sarah Giles in the British Council press office on 0207 389 4337 or by emailing

About Roots and Treetops

ROOTS and TREETOPS – is a two-year project fully financed by the European Commission and run by the British Council together with the Goethe Institute in Minsk and Alliance Francoise in Moldova. This project squarely falls within the priorities of the programme "Special Measure: EU Language Courses for Young Belarusians" by combining intensive language training that is to enable participants to upgrade their proficiency with profound lessons about the EU, and by facilitating personal and professional contacts and foster long-term networking. 300 young Belarusians are learning English, French and German and is enhancing their knowledge about the EU, its norms, societies, institutions and values.

About the European Commission

The European Commission is the EU’s executive body.

The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

About the Goethe Institute in Minsk

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide.

We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive image of Germany by providing information about cultural, social and political life in our nation. Our cultural and educational programmes encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement. They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility.

With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres, we have been the first point of contact for many with Germany for over sixty years. Our long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals in over ninety countries create enduring trust in Germany. We are partners for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture, working independently and without political ties.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes. In 2014 British Council celebrates its 80th anniversary.

The British Council in Poland performs educational activities through the teaching of English at our reputable language centres in Warsaw and Cracow, partner schools in Pozna, Wroclaw and Tricity, and cooperating with a national network of partnership libraries and exam centres, which offer British language and professional exams throughout the country. Our cultural, educational and social projects aim at sharing the achievements of the United Kingdom.

For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through, and

About the Alliance Française de Moldavie

The Alliance Française was created in 1883 in Paris under the aegis of Paul Cambon and Pierre Foncin, around personalities such as Jules Verne, Louis Pasteur, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Armand Colin and Ernest Renan.

Today, it is the leading cultural network worldwide, with 850 establishments in 136 countries on all five continents. Each year, 500,000 people, of all ages, attend Alliances Françaises to learn French and more than 6 million people participate in their cultural activities.

The network is coordinated by the Alliance Française Foundation (Fondation Alliance Française).